Scandinavia did not in general adopt hereditary surnames until the 19th Century. These surnames fell into two groups, patronymic and ornamental, of which Lill(e)gard is an uncommon example of the latter. These "ornamentals" are built up of elements held dear by Scandinavians, and denoting natural phenomena and features of the landscape, and the flora and fauna of ancient mythology. Such surnames include Lil(j)eberg (Lily hill), Lie(j)egren (Lily branch), and Lillfeldt (Lily field), the prefix element "Lille" (Lily) being very popular. In the case of Lill(e)gard (the lily garden), this may be topographical for one who perhaps formerly resided at such a place, or it may just be imaginary (ornamental), adopted by a prospective nameholder who liked the sound. What is certain is that the name is very rare, occurring in the records spasmodically in the 19th Century. At this time Finland was a Grand Duchy of Russia and in permanent revolt, whilst Sweden was often in conflict with Norway; war was of course a deterrent to record keeping. An early recording was that of Jacob Petter Lillegard(s) of Alva, Sweden, who was christened on October 17th 1854, in the reign of King Oscar 1 (1826 - 1859). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Isak Lillgard, which was dated December 29th 1851, christened at Nerikarvia, Turku Pori, Finland, during the reign of Czar Nicholas 1 of Russia, 1825 - 1855. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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